The big risk when carrying twins

lifestyle April 18, 2017 11:30

By The Nation

Most twin pregnancies are considered high-risk, and to ensure a safe and healthy delivery, it’s important that qualified doctors monitor the pregnancy.



Most twin pregnancies are considered high-risk, and to ensure a safe and healthy delivery, it’s important that qualified doctors monitor the pregnancy. 

Monochorionic-monoamniotic twins represent a rare and dangerous pregnancy condition that can lead to the loss of both foetuses. The twin babies are living in one sac and sharing a placenta. The condition affects only 1 per cent of all twin pregnancies. 

MCMA carries the same complications as normal twins, including diabetes, hypertension and a chance of pre-term labour, but the most serious complication is umbilical-cord entanglement. 

Sharing the same placenta means that both cords are close to the placenta, making it easier for them to get tangled, which would prevent blood from getting to both babies and eventually lead to their deaths if left untreated. 

There are no warning signs for MCMA – once the cords are tied together, the lives of both babies are immediately at risk. Early detection is key. It’s done through ultrasound and is easier to spot during the early stages of pregnancy.

Id the condition is detected, once the pregnancy reaches 24 to 26 weeks, the mother should undergo foetal monitoring once or twice a day. The doctor will also monitor blood flow within the umbilical cords and observe how stable the foetal heart rates are. 

If there is a significant drop in the foetal heart rate, an emergency delivery might be necessary to save the lives of both babies. 

Find out more from the Women’s Health Centre at Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital.